On Thursday, a Mexican college football team inspired by the Dallas Cowboys and eager to travel more than 1,000 miles on a bus to play football will arrive in North Texas.

“They didn’t want to stop at the hotel and shower, snooze, and rest,” stated Hugo R. Martinez, a chair for the Global Clasico match. “They intended to travel directly to Arlington to view the stadium. So they’re quite enthused about that.”

The Texas Wesleyan University Rams will kick off their football season against Arkansas State University Campus Queretaro at Farrington Field in Fort Worth on Saturday. The Global Clasico will be the first international college football game held in Fort Worth.

“I’ve told a lot of people that, sure, this is a football game, but the score at the conclusion of the game isn’t what’s essential,” Martinez said. “What is crucial is that these guys from Texas Wesleyan and Queretaro have this cultural exchange, that they connect with individuals who may come from a different background but share a same passion, which is a love of football. It’s astonishing to me how a sport like football can bring two incredible civilizations together.”

The Red Wolves are student-athletes at a branch of Arkansas State University in Central Mexico, the country’s first university to provide an American education style.

“All classes are taught in English, and graduates from this university are recognized throughout the United States. As a result, graduates of this university will travel to the United States and use the diploma they received in Mexico “Martinez explained.

The Queretaro campus, like its home university in Jonesboro, Arkansas, has a football team.

“This is American football, with pigskin, helmets, and pads,” Martinez explained. “American football has grown in popularity in Mexico in recent years, and I believe it is due to the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys go to Mexico City to play at the Estadio Azteca. And little boys and girls in Mexico, like here in the DFW region, grow up watching them play, and I believe the Mexican youngsters have fallen in love with American-style football. They not only watch it and are huge Cowboys fans, but they also started playing it in high school.”

When Martinez asked the Red Wolves coach what his squad wanted to do when they arrived in town, he didn’t hesitate to respond. They wanted to see America’s Team’s home, AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

“‘I’ll see what I can do,’ I responded, and I helped enable it. And I’m delighted I did because I believe that, other from participating in this amazing game, will be one of the most memorable things they’ll do in town “Martinez explained.

The Mexican athletes are traveling to Texas on their own cost. They couldn’t afford to fly the squad, so they took a bus for the roughly 1,000-mile, 20-hour journey. They departed on Wednesday and will return on Thursday.

The Red Wolves and the Rams will face off in the Global Clasico at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Farrington Field. Martinez anticipates a large turnout for this historic event. Tickets may be purchased here.

“Come out and show these kids that we love sports and that we’re going to support any team that comes from such a long distance and give them a Fort Worth welcome.”